2018 Best EMBAs: Jason Pak, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Jason Pak

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

Outgoing, enthusiastic, passionate, and all around good guy.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Family Members:

COL(R) Yeong Tae Pak, Father

Young Ae Pak, Mother

1LT Sarah Pak, Sister

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve given a speech in front of Presidents, Cabinet Members, and Foreign Dignitaries, to include the President of South Korea, Colin Powell, and Former Secretary Kerry, just to name a few!

Undergraduate School and Degree: United States Military Academy at West Point, Bachelor of Science Degree

Where are you currently working? Senior Manager, Veterans Initiatives and Outreach for the Boeing Company.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Frequent public speaker in sharing personal story of overcoming adversity from injuries sustained during combat.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Having been able to travel to my native country and present a project to the Managing Director of CBRE Korea.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Having served in the military, I learned about the importance of relationships, and what really matters in life. People that I’ve had the honor of serving with, fellow coworkers, Veterans, teammates; these relationships are what I am most proud of.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Christine Porath

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite MBA course was Power and Influence. Dr. Porath brought forth incredible insights on what it takes to be an effective leader. Her inherent focus on civility in the workplace and importance of empathy truly resonated with me.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? I chose the Executive MBA program to further my quantitative and technical skills and help refine my knowledge so that I can view business from a range of different perspectives.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I truly enjoyed the bonds and relationships I was able to form with my fellow classmates.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The biggest lesson I gained during my MBA was the importance in diversity of thought. Much like the military, business is truly a “people business” where one constantly learns through experience that collaboration and the capability to work with others is one of the most important assets to have as a leader.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? During a very busy period in the year, I was faced with three deliverables for class that were due, along with a work presentation to the senior most leaders in my company, and a very important event that I needed to prep for and speak at. All of these obligations happened during the same week and I was forced to prioritize and practice effective time management to get everything completed to standard. In the end, I received positive marks on the class deliverables, the work presentation was a success, and I was able to deliver my remarks with poise!

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Maintain a positive attitude and open mindset! Put in the time and effort and embrace the different perspectives and knowledge you will soon gain.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? Going back to school and working full time is A LOT of work. Be prepared to sacrifice your social life.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Giving up all the weekends and nights that I would’ve otherwise used to enjoy a social life!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Steve Adair. A classmate with a similar military background, his poise, active personality, and intelligent insights are what I admire most about him.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I first joined The Boeing Company. I realized that my time in the service, my tenure as a fellow on Capitol Hill, and working for a phenomenal aerospace/defense company were the foundation to my evolution as a leader in my post-military career. I was eager to strengthen my ability to lead in a board room, just as West Point and the military trained me to lead on the battlefield.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…without 46 incredible classmates, colleagues, teammates, and most importantly, friends.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Whether in government, public service, or in corporate America, I would like to be in a position of influence and leadership. My long-term professional goal is to be renowned as a person who many look up to and would like to emulate.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a competent, intelligent, and thoughtful individual who is a genuinely good person.

Favorite book: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Favorite movie or television show: Gladiator

What are the top two items on your bucket list? 1) Eat at all of the Top 10 Michelin-Star Restaurants in the World and 2) Attend a World Cup Soccer Finals match

What made Jason such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“The first time I met Jason Pak was at an EMBA information session downtown Washington, D.C. On paper, Jason was a strong candidate – a West Point graduate with strong leadership traits, a competitive soccer player who played division one in college, a ranger who transitioned to a good career at Boeing – we were confident that he would be a good addition to our EMBA program. The one thing that we could not measure was his unselfishness for others and being of service to others regardless of their background. In 2010, while stationed in Afghanistan, Jason was leading a group of rangers into mission and stepped into an IED. He lost both of his legs and parts of his fingers on his left arm. During his evacuation from the combat zone, one of the Generals observed, “…the first question [Jason] asked was if all of his soldiers were OK.”

Jason brings that spirit to the EMBA program at Georgetown. A spirit of optimism, camaraderie, and an appreciation for life. He influences other cohort members to remain positive, to stay humble, and to appreciate life to its fullest. I am convinced that prior to his tragic incident, Jason was a positive influencer, a caregiver, and collaborator. His spirit of giving never left, even after Afghanistan. He truly embodies the Georgetown Jesuit values, in particular being “women and men for and with others.” We need more Jason Paks in this world!”

Elie Farhat
Associate Dean for Admissions, Career Management, and Executive Outreach
Executive Degree Programs 

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